Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dentistry conducted a retrospective cohort study among 224 adolescent participants by gathering health and medical information from the children and their mothers in order to assess the children’s well-being at ages 3, 8 and 14. They analyzed the number of decayed, filled or missing permanent teeth (DMFT), and measured prevalence of dental plaque, in particular.

The children’s mothers completed a questionnaire about preventive treatments, food consumption and frequency of dental visits. The data revealed that even with access to dental insurance, fluoride treatments and sealants at an early age, cavities were not always prevented by the age of 14, said Suchitra Nelson, professor at the school.

The researchers found that mothers with education beyond high school, healthy emotional states and advanced knowledge about adequate diet had children with healthier teeth. Increased stress and poorer ability to cope when the child was 3 years old were linked to both increased dental visits and behavioral problems as adolescents. However, greater social support at the same age was directly associated with lower DMFT in teens.

The study will be published in the September issue of the Journal of Dental Research.

Original Source: The Dental Tribune